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Pacific Electric Rwy Matchcover


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      The Pacific Electric Railway (AAR reporting marks PE), also known as the Red Car system, was a mass transit system in Southern California using streetcars, light rail, and buses. At its greatest extent, around 1925, the system interconnected cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties and also connected to Riverside County and San Bernardino County in the Inland Empire.
      Only a few years after the company's formation, most of Pacific Electric's stock was purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad, which Henry Huntington had tried and failed to gain control of a decade earlier. In 1911, Southern Pacific bought out Huntington except for the LARy and also purchased several other passenger railways Huntington owned in the Los Angeles area including Pasadena and Pacific, resulting in the "Great Merger" of 1911. At this point the Pacific Electric became the largest operator of interurban electric railway passenger service in the world, with over 1,000 miles of track. The Pacific Electric also ran frequent freight trains under electric power throughout its service area, including one of the few electrically-powered Railway Post Office routes in the country. The PE was also responsible for an innovation in grade crossing safety that was quickly adopted by other railroads, a fully automatic electromechanical grade crossing signal nicknamed the "wigwag."


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